As Pink declares in the chorus to one of her most famous songs, she’s a rockstar, but in this documentary, each of the rockstar clichés are tempered by things we never usually see in these kinds of films. There is champagne being quaffed in a fancy hotel room, but there’s also a child safety gate to make sure her infant son doesn’t trip and fall. Later, when the tension begins to rise on a private jet, it’s not because of some simmering intra-band drama, but because her daughter is ill with a fever.
This isn’t your typical rock doc, and that’s because the touring habits of Pink, real name Alecia Beth Moore, are pretty atypical of a stadium-conquering musician. Instead of leaving her family back home in America as she embarked on the European leg of 2019 world tour, she brought them all (husband Carey Hart, eight-year-old Willow and two-year-old Jameson) along for the ride.
This is the second time they’ve toured with the kids, Hart tells us, and although “the first one was a huge learning curve”, it all now seems to be quite normal — when Willow zooms around on a hoverboard during concert rehearsals, or when Jameson interrupts a conversation about stage outfits, nobody seems too bothered.
But this isn’t normal, especially for a musician of Pink’s stature, and even more so for women artists. “For a lot of moms, when they become moms and they tour, they stop touring,” Pink says towards the beginning of the film, “because you can’t imagine being able to do both.”
And throughout the film, we’re shown again and again just how Herculean of an effort it is to do both. Shots of Pink’s physically demanding on-stage choreography and extensive travelling schedule are juxtaposed with footage of her fulfilling motherly duties; changing nappies, trying to coax her daughter into getting dressed, telling off her boisterous son, and all the rest of it. One moment, she’s commanding a crowd of 70,000 at Wembley Stadium, and the next she’s trying to keep up with her tireless toddler. “You know what, I did a whole show tonight,” she tells him with a weary chuckle.
And then there are more nuanced challenges of being a mother, like when she worries about her daughter’s introspective nature, or tries to hide her sadness when Willow tells her she wants to leave the tour and go to summer camp with her friends. And though Pink admits that at times she has questioned whether this is the right way to raise her children, taking them on the road instead of providing a “normal” upbringing, she seems convinced that her choice is the correct one. “I look around at the people that we’re surrounded by, and we’re surrounded by people [from] all walks of life, incredibly diverse, and we go all over the world, and we have culture around us all the time.” That, she says, “is more of an education than I got”.
She’s undoubtedly aided by Hart, portrayed in the film as something of a stay-on-tour dad, patient and supportive. He’s had his own successes as a groundbreaking freestyle motocross competitor, but as Pink says here, her husband of 19 years isn’t the kind of man who needs his “ego stroking” (another rock doc cliché busted, then).
By the closing shot, in which Pink leaves the Wembley stage and immediately embraces her two children, we’re left in no doubt that this is a woman who does things on her own terms. Mother or rockstar? They’re one and the same.
May 21, Prime Video